The Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Services Component of USAID/Pakistan’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program – also known as the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) – led by Jhpiego and implemented by international, local and private partners organized a meeting here on today, at IBA Sukkur, to recognize achievements and mark the end of activities under MCHIP. The event hosted dignitaries and representatives from government as well as private sector, and was attended by Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho – Secretary to Department of Health, GOS as chief guest.
The event was organized as part of the project’s closeout ceremony, where the knowledge gained and lessons learned pertaining to Sukkur were shared with relevant stakeholders. Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho acknowledged that MCHIP has successfully completed all of its assigned field interventions in 16 focused districts of Sindh under the USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Program, the aim of which was to contribute to improvements in maternal, neonatal and child health.
MCHIP’s areas of support included training of healthcare providers through group and on-the-job training modules, provision of supplies and equipment at its supported health facilities, minor repairs and renovation at selected facilities, , and supportive supervisory visits by district technical staff. It made significant strides in revitalization of Community Midwives and Lady Health Workers through a host of interventions, including improving their clinical and communication business skills. MCHIP also extended extensive support to the district Sukkur to strengthen routine immunization, including registration and vaccination of pregnant women and children less than two years of age.
In light of these interventions, Dr. Farhana Shahid shared their experiences working with MCHIP and highlighted important next steps and the way forward. MCHIP took several steps to ensure the sustainability of interventions beyond the life of the project. It was noted that MCHIP handed over all training packages and profiles of trainers that were trained by MCHIP on different maternal and newborn/FP training modules, so that they can be utilized by Department of Health (DOH) after the project ends. Handing over also included sharing of the real-time monitoring software with the district Monitoring and Evaluation cells, handing over of Mobile Service Units to DOH, and sharing of immunization database. Additionally, MCHIP and the Lady Health Worker (LHW) Program have finalized a strategy for sustaining the Community Health Workers (CHWs) and absorbing them into the LHW force in the province. DOH has endorsed the CHWs as an available, trained resource for LHW Program’s next phase of hiring.
All partners were thanked for their support provided during the life of the program, including all USAID MCH partners, Department of Health and its relevant programs such as MNCH and Lady Health Workers Programs, PPHI, Population Welfare Department and private sector NGOs.
The event disseminated information regarding the project through presentations, briefers, and other relevant materials. A District Report was presented at the event that summarized all the interventions and activities undertaken during the life of the project. The report also highlighted findings, project results, challenges and recommendations to inform policy makers about a way forward for further improvement.
The Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Services Component of USAID/Pakistan’s MCH Program is being implemented in Sindh province by Jhpiego, under its Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP). MCHIP began its operations in February 2013 and it will close out its field activities by 31 December 2017. The aim of the program was to contribute to improvements in maternal, neonatal and child health through a total market approach, empowered communities, timely referral of complications to hospitals providing emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC), and improved access to family planning (FP) and child health services including immunization and nutrition. It aims at leaving behind at least 1,000 MNCH Centers – functional units in public and private health facilities that provide a full range of high quality MNCH services and are linked with EmONC facilities through an active referral and transportation system.